We have been focusing on emotions. You can peek inside our Emotions Unit Bin, to see some of what we’ve been working with and where I purchased the materials (and treats) used during this handwriting warm-up with a barfing emoji.
Liam has dyspraxia, which affects his fine motor skills making something “simple” like writing, very difficult. We spend a lot of time on writing. Most of that time is spent on warm-ups, grip, pressure, and making a commitment to which hand he’ll use.
The warm-ups vary greatly and sometimes he doesn’t realize it’s a warm-up. I like to make warm-ups part of the theme we’re focusing on to keep it interesting and fun. This barfing emoji ball was the perfect tool for our emotions themed handwriting warm up.
Liam started using both hands and progressed to just one, which was a good challenge for him. An added challenge was sucking the slime back up, off the tray. For that, he needed two hands and a lot of concentration.
Benefits of This Handwriting Warm-Up
Warm-ups get your mind and body ready to perform. Handwriting warm-ups are great for any writer, special needs or not. This slime barf squishy is tough plastic and not only works hand muscles but provides proprioceptive input.
Talking Liam through “squeeze and relax” technique translates well to communicating with him during handwriting. He often holds the utensil too tight or too loose, pushes down to hard or too soft. Another great thing about this warm-up is the multi-step but repetitive process of squeezing out all the slime to sucking it all back up. He had to be mindful of how he held the squishy face, where he squeezed and for which process (spitting out or sucking up).
I purchased this with the intent to use it for this purpose. Liam loved playing with it. Despite having to learn new techniques just to play, he was willing and determined. He warmed up with this barf emoji guy a lot longer than I had intended, but that’s when I know I’m doing the right thing.